VU Daily Blog: 4/8/10

A couple of current Vikings recount their draft-day experiences, from surprise that the Vikings took one of them to disappointment that no one selected another. Plus, Onterrio Smith, Kenechi Udeze, Madieu Williams and Percy Harvin make the news. Take a spin around through all kinds of Vikings news and analysis with's blog.

Previous Daily Blogs: Click Here
Talk to the VU Bloggers: Click here

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, April 08, 2010 at 7:19:00 PM

Vikings preseason schedule finalized

The Vikings finally know their full schedule … for the preseason anyway. With the announcement of the final two games, their full preseason schedule is as follows:

Sat., Aug. 14: at St. Louis Rams, 7 p.m. Central
Sun., Aug. 22: at San Francisco 49ers, 7 p.m. Central
Sat., Aug. 28: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 7 p.m. Central
Thurs., Sept. 2: vs. Denver Broncos, 7 p.m. Central

The Thursday preseason finale has many people believing that the Vikings will indeed open the regular season the following Thursday at the New Orleans Saints in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game.

The regular season schedule is expected to be released soon, possibly next week, but no exact date has been announced.


Posted on Twitter at: 7:18:00 PM
All Crystal Baller Offensive Team: At this point, we all know who the top prospects are in the 2010 NFL Draft. But...

Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Thursday, April 08, 2010 at 4:56:00 PM

Final chapter for Whizzinator fiasco?

Running back Onterrio Smith once dubbed himself the S.O.D. (Steal Of the Draft) when he was originally a fourth-round pick by the Vikings in 2003.

His NFL career lasted just three seasons (two active, one on suspension).  He rushed for 579 yards on 107 carries with five touchdowns as a rookie.  In 2004, he ran the ball 144 times for 544 yards and two TDs.  But then injury problems and the infamous "Whizzinator" incident in May 2005 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport would become his most memorable contribution to Viking folklore.

Detained for carrying a "mysterious" device later identified as a Whizzinator kit to beat drug tests, he never saw the field with the Vikings again.  He was released by Minnesota under the new Brad Childress regime just days before the 2006 NFL Draft.

He received a chance to re-start his career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League that summer.  But he showed up for training camp about 20 pounds overweight and quickly suffered a foot injury that prevented him from practicing until near the end of training camp.  He was released on June 11, 2006.

The most recent event for the troubled former running back was at 4 a.m. on May 2, 2008, when Smith was pulled over in Sacramento, Calif.  Smith was then arrested on suspicion of DUI and was booked on a traffic warrant as well.  His bail was set at $3,746.

Now the Orange County Register reports that the original inventors of the Whizzinator have seen their final day in court regarding the product Onterrio made so famous.

Smith remains a tragic example of a wasted career because of his substance abuse issues.

Posted on Twitter at: 4:11:00 PM
Pre-Draft Team Needs: Chicago Bears: The Chicago Bears made a big splash at the beginning of free agency, but they...

Posted on Twitter at: 1:01:00 PM
Anthony Herrera with Paul Allen on KFAN: 50-50 chance the #Vikings select OL in first round, but Maurkice Pouncy will be gone by then.

Posted on Twitter at: 12:20:00 PM
Positional analysis: Tight ends: While there are no sure-fire Pro Bowl prospects among the tight ends in this year...

Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Thursday, April 08, 2010 at 12:11:00 PM

Percy Harvin and Madieu Williams to receive JB Award

The JB Awards, after CBS' James Brown, recognizes the efforts of NFL players both on and off the field.  Two Minnesota Viking players – Percy Harvin and Madieu Williams – are among the list of current players who will be honored at the NFL Players Gala featuring the JB Awards.

The gala benefits the Special Olympics and will take place next Wednesday in Washington D.C., according to a report by the

Harvin and Williams are among a dozen different players who will be recognized.

Off the field, Harvin has been an active member of the Goodwill Gators who volunteered his time with the Children's Miracle Network at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., as well as with the Vikings in the Twin Cities.

Williams, who spent his childhood in Sierra Leone, move to the Untied States at age 9 and settled with family in Maryland.  He makes frequent visits to the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital.  His Madieu Williams foundation ( works with kids to encourage a healthy lifestyle and education.

Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, April 08, 2010 at 9:56:00 AM

Henderson writes about "my most humbling experience"

Tarvaris Jackson was surprised to be drafted by the Vikings in 2006 (see post below), but Vikings teammate Erin Henderson had a bigger surprise on his draft day – not being drafted at all.

Henderson's brother, E.J., was a second-round pick by the Vikings in 2003 and Erin saw reports that had him rated nearly as highly before the 2008 draft. Both were Maryland successes, but not only would Erin have to wait beyond the second round of the draft, he had to wait until the draft was over to officially become an NFL player. He decided to leave school early for the NFL and had big expectations.

"For me it was the realization of a dream. All my hard work and determination was finally going to pay off. Until you experience something similar there really is no comparison," he wrote in his blog explaining his draft disappointment, entitled My Most Humbling Experience. "I was on top of the world and there really was not much you could tell me. The analysts had me listed as the second outside linebacker behind Keith Rivers, and had high expectations for where I would go in the draft. As time went on I mysteriously began to slip on the big boards, and really without much explanation. I took it in stride and just did my best to do my part. I figured whatever happens it will all work out."

Eventually, it did … but not until it was 30 minutes after the draft and he decided to join his brother in Minnesota and become an undrafted rookie. He wrote about feelings of letting down everyone at his draft party and felt they were judging him as the draft ended, even after he told them he had signed with the Vikings.

Henderson still isn't sure why he wasn't drafted two years ago, but he's trying to use it as motivation. He's also trying to find the reason for it and wrote about a few possibilities.

"As tough as the draft was to deal with, it reinforced my belief that everything happens for a reason. At this point I am still not exactly sure what that reason is, but I do have my thoughts," he wrote. "Maybe I was not mature enough for the money that I would have made as a high draft pick. Or it could be that I was not ready for the pressure that goes along with being a high pick and thrown into the fire as a rookie. Or maybe it was so that my brother and I could grow together and strengthen our bond to where it is now. Who knows, maybe it was so I could meet the beautiful woman who is in my life."

Draft weekend usually brings a wave of triumphant stories of first-round draft picks and players who beat the odds to make it to the NFL. Erin Henderson's excellent blog post tells the story of those whose fate is sometimes ignored and usually forgotten. It's worth the read. Once again, here is the link.


Posted by: Tim Yotter
on Thursday, April 08, 2010 at 9:22:00 AM

Vikings caught Jackson by surprise

Despite all the interest and early indications that the Vikings liked Tarvaris Jackson before the 2006 NFL Draft, the quarterback was surprised to be selected by Minnesota, apparently because it had been more than a month between the time a member of the coaching staff worked him out privately and the draft.

"I was surprised that it was the Vikings who took me. Most teams try to be discreet and secretive but they really caught me off-guard," Jackson wrote in his latest blog Wednesday while recounting his draft experience. "They had a scout at my pro day and their quarterback coach came down for a private workout, but the last I had heard from them was in March sometime. I was invited for visits to four or five teams and the Vikings were not one of them."

Since then, Jackson has found out that private workouts can mean just as much as visits to the team facility before a draft. Four years later, he is still trying to prove himself to be starter-worthy at the NFL level, but he has learned a few things about Minnesota since that April 2006 phone call that changed his life.

"As the draft got near the second round my mom's house phone rang," Jackson wrote. "The caller ID just said ‘Twin Cities.' I had no idea what that was. I had never heard of the 952 area code. The guy on the phone, I forget his name now, said something like, ‘How would you feel about being a Viking?' He said they were going to trade up with Pittsburgh to pick me."

The Vikings did just that, trading two third-round picks to move into the last pick of the second round and select Jackson – the third of three second-round picks in 2006 for the Vikings (Cedric Griffin and Ryan Cook were the others).


Posted by: Kevin Brown
on Thursday, April 08, 2010 at 8:42:00 AM

Udeze to be guest speaker in Lewiston, Minn.

Former Vikings DE Kenechi Udeze, who's career was cut short after his battle with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the 32nd running of the Fools Five Road Race this Sunday in Lewistown, Minn.

Udeze will speak at the High School gymnasium.  All pledges and proceeds from the race are donated to cancer research.  Guy Limbeck from the has the full details.

Posted on Twitter at: 8:29:00 AM
Spielman's meticulous method is working: Rick Spielman brought new depth to the Vikings' player evaluation process...

Posted on Twitter at: 7:27:00 AM
Chat tonight with's Adam Caplan: Subscribers to, get your Vikings and NFL free-agent an...

Viking Update Top Stories